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A Stranger In Our House

A few months before I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger? He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry.

The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.
Sometimes Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to her room and read her books. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home ... not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in the home, not even for cooking. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked ... and NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you were to walk into my parents' den today you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name? We just call him TV.


Sorry, I just thought this story was excellent!

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bigmikedude's picture

I have a stranger, but he comes with a mute button on

the remote and a handy little UP DOWN "change the subject" button.

Not enough "hunter/gatherer activities to develop young minds.

Children are growing up severely detached from nature.

DR. GABOR MATÉ: "Well, the human brain, unlike any other mammal, for the most part develops under the influence of the environment. And that’s because, from the evolutionary point of view, we developed these large heads, large fore-brains, and to walk on two legs we have a narrow pelvis. That means—large head, narrow pelvis—we have to be born prematurely. Otherwise, we would never get born. The head already is the biggest part of the body. Now, the horse can run on the first day of life. Human beings aren’t that developed for two years. That means much of our brain development, that in other animals occurs safely in the uterus, for us has to occur out there in the environment. And which circuits develop and which don’t depend very much on environmental input. When people are mistreated, stressed or abused, their brains don’t develop the way they ought to. It’s that simple. And unfortunately, my profession, the medical profession, puts all the emphasis on genetics rather than on the environment, which, of course, is a simple explanation. It also takes everybody off the hook."


And never forget, “Humans, despite our artistic pretensions, our sophistication and many accomplishments, owe the fact of our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.”

I blame the parents before

I blame the parents before blaming the TV.

Love it

When I moved out and got my own place, I would not allow a TV in the house.

Finally, after several years, my neighbors felt sorry for my husband and brought him their old TV and hooked it up to cable.

The rest is history.

Interesting story

We didn't have a TV until I was a teenager and Dad finally agreed to have one. My mom was like the lady in the story...she would go into her room to read (the Bible usually) while we watched the TV. She often said she thought that a television was the most evil thing people ever brought into their homes. We would try to explain all the "good" things about tv to Mom...but now I understand fully what she meant.

Thanks for the replies

Great to see so many informed people here!

The road to awareness and a happy life for me has been:

Turn off the TV, stop reading the newspapers, stop listening to public education, public surveys, public "experts", public opinion etc. etc.

Isn't it great that when you disconnect from the misinformation machine, suddenly and automatically awakening accelerates?

We stopped watching television in '92 -- Four years after

my first election -- I voted Paul '88 (thank you).

I read (in '92) the Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television

---After the Color Purple this was the 2nd book I ever read cover to cover.

great story

My TV is completely disconnected from the outside world. He is allowed to stay in my apartment strictly for the occasional wii bowling tournament and that is all! :)

At first I thought this was

At first I thought this was an allegory for the trolls on this site, and further along I thought it was about the public schools, but then I got to the end and figured it out.

Because we have no cable or TV signal, my kids don't know what a TV commercial is nor do they know about and ask for all the toys on commercials. As a parent I think the commercials are one of the most damaging aspects of TV with kids. My kids don't know who hannah montana or lady gaga is and frankly neither do I - i just see the names on the tabloids when I'm in the supermarket checkout. I guess my kids are pretty sheltered and they are better off that way.

I have always thought

that television has been the absolute worst technological advance in human history. Gone are the days of families having real conversations. Gone are the days of groups of families interacting more than a few times a year. Gone are the days when true independent thinking dominated debate. As my grandmother once told me, life has gotten more convenient, not better.

we are fighting the stranger now.

this is why the sheeple are such zombies. this is probably the most brainwashed group of humans EVER!
the "baby boomers"

Michael Nystrom's picture

I kicked the stranger out

After I realized what he was doing to me. It was kind of hard, because he seemed so nice! He kept me company when I was lonely, and entertained when I was bored. He was so nice. Always there for me.

It took time to figure out that he was a psychopath. Once I figured that out, it was pretty easy to see through to his ulterior motives. Once that was reavealed, it was game over for him. I unceremoniously gave him the boot.

Funny, even though I used to spend so much time with him, now I hardly miss him at all. Plus I've got about a thousand extra dollars in my pocket every year to boot.

Sometimes I run into him - in a bar, at a hotel or a friend's house. Our relationship now is cordial, but cool. I doubt I'll ever trust him again. And I certainly won't invite him back home.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Thank you

This is also very good and funny!,it is the same for me,Thank you Sir.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Very nice

What a great story! Thank you.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Cool story bro, no really!

Cool story bro, no really!

youtube or it didn't happen

Freedom requires responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
– George Bernard Shaw

Official Daily Paul BTC address: 16oZXSGAcDrSbZeBnSu84w5UWwbLtZsBms
Rand Paul 2016

I agree with Ira below

It is just amazing the influence the Television has had on this country!I was lucky enough to not have this party crasher show up until I was in my early teens.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

That was nice. HUGE BUMP!

That was nice.


"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown